Latest scientific assessment shows North Sea herring stock to be in great shape
The robust state of the North Sea herring stock has been confirmed with the latest scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of Sea (ICES) recommending a 28.3% increase in catch for 2024.
Excellent recruitment of juvenile fish has boosted the stock status. Fishing pressure on the stock is currently below the Maximum Sustainable Yield level (MSY) and fishing mortality is consistent with last year. The spawning stock size is above MSY levels.
North Sea herring is the only herring fishery in the north-east Atlantic that is independently certified by the Marine Stewardship Council ecolabel for the sustainable manner it is harvested.
First certified in 2008, North Sea herring is one of the longest running certified fisheries in the UK. Such recognition is testament to the hard work of Scottish herring fishers in putting sustainability at the heart of their operations.
This commitment is exhibited in many ways, including Scottish herring (and mackerel) fishers engaging in pioneering science initiatives to sample and assess stocks to provide data and information that aids sensible and pragmatic fisheries management. For environmentally conscious consumers, this is great news, for it means they can eat North Sea herring in confidence, safe in the knowledge that the fishery is sustainably harvested.